More space and modernity in our Maison laboratory

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Testing laboratories are part of the DNA of Digital and recently they have all benefited from a significant makeover. The Maison laboratory is a perfect illustration of this modernization thanks to several technical developments.

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Larger, more modern and much more sophisticated, the new laboratories of Digital better meet the requirements of our magazine, to serve you better. Following our move to Boulogne-Billancourt, the photo lab is not the only one that has benefited from a major overhaul.

The Maison laboratory has also been redesigned to better accommodate the 250 products tested each year by the department. It must be said that it requires space to accommodate the four journalists who go there daily. The home service is actually the one with the most product categories, as it covers no less than 31 active comparisons on the site, such as those dedicated to surveillance cameras or stick vacuum cleaners. In the long run, the former Parisian laboratory was no longer really suitable for our activity. He had become too small… and a bit rustic.

Home lab

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

A better configuration and a more suitable space

The rectangle that formed our old laboratory is no longer a square space, allowing a better organization of the arrival of products and their installation, especially large household appliances. With a current surface area of ​​26 m², this laboratory has the necessary space to simultaneously accommodate two American refrigerators or three combinations, six washing machines, dryers or other dishwashers and four built-in ovens. In short, enough to keep the household busy!

Everything is designed to make the tests easier to administer and more complete. Thus, the refrigerators can now be connected to a water supply, so that we can test the water and ice dispensers of the American models, which we could not do in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. In addition, there is a temperature regulation system that maintains the same temperature throughout the year, summer and winter. Thanks to it, evaluations of the energy consumption of devices are more precise thanks to a test protocol carried out under better controlled conditions.

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Home lab

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

More space for new products being tested

For washing machine tests, each water inlet is equipped with an individual meter to record consumption. Moreover, this aspect will be decisive for future tests of dishwashers, a category of products that is in great demand by readers of Digital. For the ovens, two columns 180 cm high and 60 cm wide and deep were installed to give us enough space to torture four built-in ovens simultaneously.

To carry out tests on small household appliances, the work surface has been doubled in size: it is now more than 4 m long and 60 cm deep. We can therefore happily test a coffee machine with a grinder, a food processor, a food processor, one or two oil-free deep fryers, a couple of electric kettles and two induction hobs at the same time. In fact, two 32 A sockets are installed to supply the latter.

Home lab

© Guillaume du Mesgnil d’Engente / Digital

Eye for detail

Other details have been refined: today we have a black floor to better visualize the waste we spread on the floor (rice, cocoa), a dimmer to throw the robot vacuum cleaners into the dark and see how they find each other. The little extra that doesn’t spoil anything: the windows that let in the outside light are reminiscent of washing machine portholes. Look no further, we’ve thought of everything!

The move will therefore have been profitable for us, we have won in comfort and precision (to the detriment of a long journey by public transport for most of us). But we already have areas that can be improved: We will e.g. need an old air extractor to launch a comparison of range hood tests or a ceiling camera to observe the navigation of robot vacuum cleaners. On good terms.

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